On December 16th we get a really, really interesting Japanese Middleweight match up between Ran Tomomatsu (1-0) and Mikio Sakai (1-0). To help fans know who the fighters are we'll be doing "introducing..." articles for both. This week we're going to look at the 25 year old Tomomatsu, who fights out of the Watanabe Gym and turned professional with a very impressive reputation from the amateur ranks.
Born in Kumamoto Prefecture Tomomatsu has been one of a rising number of fighters from the region, which did go through a real stretch without notable fighters. Despite that he he is now fighting out of the Tokyo based Watanabe gym, joining a number of fighters from across Japan who have joined the impressive stable under Hitoshi Watanabe's banner.
As an amateur Tomomatsu went an impressive 41-9 (16) and was regularly in the final 4 for major tournaments at 81KG's, which is above the professional Light Heavyweight limit, winning the 2016 Japanese National Championships and losing in the final in the 2017 version of the competition, he also came runner up in the 2017 Japanese National Sport Festival.
Following his solid amateur career Tomomatsu signed with the Watanabe Gym with out too much fanfare and fuss. Although he was well known in the circles that followed Japanese amateur boxing, he certainly wasn't get the attention that his style and credentials maybe deserved, especially given that he was fighting well above his natural weight as an amateur. When he turned professional the aim was to make a mark at his more natural weight, and he instantly made a mark thanks to a thrilling 6 round debut war.
Tomomatu's debut came on June 25th when he took part on a Japan Vs Korea show at the Korakuen Hall. The debuting Japanese fighter didn't have a gimme to represent his country and get an easy win. Instead he went up against the then unbeaten Korean puncher Sang Geun Lee (then 6-0, 4), and the two men really just wailed away on each other in what was, easily, the most competitive and exciting of the Japan Vs Korea bouts on the card. In the end Tomomatsu did enough to earn the win, but was given a solid test and essentially got the win due to a knockdown he scored.
Despite being a close one, and it was close, Tomomatsu answered a number of questions we don't tend to see debutants answer. He showed his will to win and impressive stamina, going 6 rounds at a very high pace, he took big shots and walk through them, and mixed both boxing and slugging into his work. It wasn't a flawless performance, not even close, but it was an exciting, memorable debut that gave us a lot to be excited about.
Against Mikio Tomomatsu will needto answer more questions, but what we have seen of him in his debut suggests that he is certainly one to watch, and win or lose against Mikio it's hard to imagine his career fizzling out without major success in the future.
This is just an opinion, maaaan! It's easy to share our opinions, and that's what you'll find here, some random opinion pieces